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Delta pre-tax hit by hurricane

ATLANTA: October 11, 2017. Delta Air Lines has reported a 5.5 percent increase in third quarter 2017 (Q3) revenue to US$11.06 billion and a net profit of US$1.8 billion – down seven percent year-on-year.

Cargo revenue for the period rose 11.5 percent to US$187 million and seven percent for the first nine months to reach US$530 million.

Bombardier C SeriesAdjusted pre-tax income was US$1.7 billion, a US$182 million drop from Q3 2016 that included US$120 million from the effects of Hurricane Irma that hit the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and Delta's hub in Atlanta.

In response to the crisis Delta and the Delta Air Lines Foundation gave US$2.75 million to Red Cross organizations; employees added a further US$250,000 to the American Red Cross; while the airline operated nine humanitarian flights and shipped more than 600,000 pounds of relief supplies.

"We faced a number of challenges this quarter, including multiple hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico. I am proud of how Delta people responded and still delivered an outstanding performance this quarter," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Commenting on the order for 75 Bombardier C aircraft (right) that the U.S. Commerce Department has proposed penalty tariffs totaling 299.45 percent following a Boeing complaint, Bastian reportedly said: "We're not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk."

Adding he thought the 'Commerce ruling was "nonsensical", he said Delta expected to get the aircraft at the agreed contract price, although he was prepared to delay the first delivery due in early 2018 to resolve the issue.

In April 2016 Delta signed an order for 75 CS100 aircraft, with options for a further 50, at a list price that valued the order at US$5.6 billion. Although it doesn't manufacture a similar-sized airplane, Boeing subsequently filed a complaint with the Trump Administration saying the Canadian company was selling at below unit cost. A claim the manufacturer vigorously denies.

At the time of the order Bastian noted: "These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance."

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